This website theme is still in development

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Home About Personnel Robert "Bob" Karrfalt

Robert "Bob" Karrfalt

Bob KarrfaltDirector National Seed Laboratory

Purdue University
Dept of Forest and Natural Resources
715 West State Street
West Layfayette, IN 47907-2061
TEL: 765.583.3502
FAX: 765.583.3512



I have worked at the USDA Forest Service National Seed Laboratory from 1975 until the present.  My first assignment was to be the Assistant Director of the Eastern Tree Seed Lab.  From 1980 until 1986, I served as manager for the international seed exchange program at the lab.  During those 6 years the lab evolved into the National Tree Seed Laboratory.  From 1986 until the present I have been the Laboratory Director.  Finally in 2005 I had the satisfaction of seeing the lab become the National Seed Laboratory with the responsibility for being the Forest Service strategic resource for seed science and technology with all native plants.  During my 34+ years of assisting conservation workers with seed problems I have worked in every region of the United States and several other countries.  This has given me the privaledge of solving problems with many different species using both low tech and high tech solutions.  I have authored dozens of technical articles, and co-edited the recent revision of the Woody Plant Seed Manual.  I have organized and presented over 40 seed workshops at various domestic locations as well as in the Caribbean and in China. Most facilities for cleaning conservation seeds in the US have had some input from me for the selection of machinery and the training of personnel. I represent the US Government at the International Seed Testing Association and the Forest Reproductive Materials Certification Scheme in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Both of these activities are important to facilitate the international trade of seeds.  I continue to be engaged in developing new seed handling protocols and developing programs for the genetic conservation of native US plants using long term seed storage.